Eight Paralympic events culled for Paris 2024, leaving Canberran Michael Roeger with only one option

Canberra athlete Michael Roeger is devastated at the news the T46 men's marathon will not feature at the Paralympic's in Paris. Picture: Athletics Australia
Canberra athlete Michael Roeger is devastated at the news the T46 men's marathon will not feature at the Paralympic's in Paris. Picture: Athletics Australia

Eight events have been culled from the Paris 2024 Paralympics, leaving T46 male athletes with only one long-distance running event.

T46 athletes have a single below- or above-the-elbow amputation and there were two male running events in Tokyo - the 1500m and the marathon - but no female events.

The International Paralympic Committee announced it would cull three male athletics events in Paris, with one being the T46 marathon.

Australian runner - and world record holder - Michael Roeger finished sixth in the event in Tokyo, after battling a stress fracture.

The four-time Paralympian also competed in the 1500m, which will now be the only running event on offer for his classification in three years' time.

"[It's] pretty devastating and still sinking in," he said.

"I know if I want to I can still dominate the track in the 1500m but i love the marathon."

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Eight events across the Paralympics program were cut from swimming and male athletics, while 18 events were added across badminton, boccia, canoe, judo, rowing, taekwondo and triathlon events.

The changes mean eight more medal events for women in Paris than in Tokyo, 77 more competition spots for women and a maximum of 4400 athletes to compete in 549 medal events across 22 parasports.

Fellow Australian long-distance runner Jaryd Clifford said he was devastated at the IPC's decision to cull the T46 marathon.

Despite the three-time Paralympic medallist's T12/T13 events featuring again in Paris, he advocated for Roeger's long-distance events.

"Sometimes it feels like distance running is on its way out of the Paralympics. I hope this decision can be appealed," he tweeted.

"For non-wheelchair classifications, this leaves only four distance events and only one disability group eligible for long-distance running at the Paralympic Games: M T11 (blind) 5k, M T12/13 (visual-impairment) 5k, M T11/12 (blind/visual-impaired) marathon & W T11/12 marathon.

"At a time when distance running is amassing global momentum through movements like Park Run my admittedly biased opinion is that this will be a huge missed opportunity."

This story 'It's devastating': Eight Paralympic events culled for Paris 2024 first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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